On Saturday 26th June 2010, Robert Bekkers (guitar), Anne Ku (piano), and Stephanie Hunt (cello) gave a one hour house concert in the living room of a walk-up top floor one-bedroom apartment on Realeneisland, adjacent to Westerdok island of Amsterdam. It was the first time Bekkers Piano Guitar Duo collaborated with a cellist. The result was surprisingly refreshing.
For lack of a better name, all the pieces played were not originally written for the three instruments, hence “transcriptions.”
Programme: TRANSCRIPTIONS for cello, guitar, piano
- Winter from Four Seasons, Vivaldi, arr. R. Bekkers for piano, guitar, cello
- Sonata Op. 17 for cello and piano, Beethoven
- Chaconne for solo guitar, JS Bach
- Fantasiestucke Op. 17 for cello and piano, R. Schumann
- Concerto de Aranjuez, Rodrigo, arr. R. Bekkers for piano, guitar, cello
Even Bach’s famous Chaconne was not written for the classical guitar but for solo violin.
The “art islands” which includes Westerdok can be reached by bus 18 or 22 in a matter of minutes from Amsterdam Central station. It is an area directly west and north west of the central train station, what used to be a shunting yard for the Dutch railways. Unknown to most tourists, this gem of a central location is being redeveloped (see article).
Less than a year ago, on 26 September 2009 to be precise, the Bekkers Piano Guitar Duo gave a one hour house concert of 21st century works for piano and guitar in the same location. The host, a passionate music lover named Jos, welcomed the guests to her apartment and acknowledged the three Dutch composers before introducing the duo. I had intended to blog about this amazing reception of the composers, 21st century music, and the incredibly tasty food served in the “after party.”
I spoke to the lady who prepared the food. Trudy’s full-time job is not in the catering business but cooking is her hobby and passion. “Food to me is like music to you,” she said. “Give me a theme and I’ll create something to fit.”
I have since tasted her gastronomic creations at the artist Egon’s home and again on 26th June. I shouldn’t say “tasted,” for I actually devoured her home-smoked salmon, juicy pork steak skewers, garlic prawns, chicken liver pâté, spicy mushrooms, savoury chicken drumsticks, and other delights forever ingrained in my memory after the live music.
Recently Trudy sat in a cafe and overheard a conversation. “You know what is special about those house concerts at Egon’s place? The food afterwards.”
These ad hoc house concerts of live music followed by savoury food and great wines are run by a group of close friends in one of several locations. You have to get on their mailing list to be invited. Luckily I am on their mailing list — and I’m even willing to pay with music to enjoy the “after party.”